If you’ve gone through medical detox and a substance abuse treatment program, you might feel as though your recovery is complete. However, while completing a treatment program is something worth celebrating, recovery is a lifelong process. Those who have struggled with substance abuse issues benefit from continuing care after rehab, which is commonly known as “aftercare.”
After leaving a structured treatment program, many individuals return to their everyday lives. The stresses and triggers that first led them to abuse drugs or alcohol might still be present. The first weeks and months after rehab can be a dangerous time. However, with the support of a continuing care program, you can avoid relapse and stay sober for life.
Continuing Care Beyond Addiction Treatment Programs
Returning to the real world after an inpatient or intensive outpatient treatment program can be stressful. Although you’ve worked hard to develop skills and strategies for staying sober, in your everyday life you might have increased contact with drugs or alcohol. You also might have friends or family around who are not supportive of your sobriety. Many of those who relapse do so in the first six months after treatment, which is why continuing care is crucial for long-term recovery.
Many addiction treatment centers incorporate aftercare or continuing care programs into their treatment plans. These programs focus on providing structure and support to promote sobriety as patients transition back into their everyday lives. Continuing care programs often include ongoing individual therapy, regular check-ins, involvement with an alumni network, and 12-step meetings.
What are the benefits of continuing care?
- Accountability – Drug and alcohol testing can help your clinical team know when to intervene and help you get back on track
- Support – In an alumni program, you can turn to others when you have difficult days or celebrate successes in staying sober together
- Ongoing treatment – For those who struggle with mental health issues along with addiction, consistent therapy can be an important tool for maintaining sobriety
- Helping others – Many individuals in recovery find it meaningful to give back by supporting their peers in their recovery journeys
Tips for Long-Term Recovery
Sobriety maintenance is difficult to do alone. One strategy for success is to find a network of support. Many addiction treatment centers connect those who have completed one or more of their programs to an alumni network. By developing new relationships with other drug-and-alcohol free individuals, you know that your circle will support you in staying sober. These friendships will encourage you in your healthy lifestyle and support positive change.
Along with building a strong network of support, other strategies for long-term recovery include:
- Starting new routines – Avoid the places and habits that could cause you to relapse by exploring new hobbies and pastimes
- Finding a new career – If your workplace is not a supportive environment or your work causes you a great deal of stress, consider looking into new opportunities
- Having a plan in place – Know in advance what you’ll do if you find that you’re struggling to stay sober
- Practicing self-care – Make your mental health a priority
If you’re beginning the road to recovery, start by finding an addiction treatment center near you that offers an aftercare program to promote long-term sobriety.
Learn More About Sobriety Maintenance Today
WeRecover exists to help individuals who are struggling with addiction to drugs and alcohol find the right treatment center for their needs. As you explore your options, look for an addiction treatment center that offers aftercare planning and the support of an alumni network. Long-term recovery from addiction is possible. WeRecover can help connect you with a treatment program that fits your budget, your schedule, and your goals. Learn more by exploring treatment centers near you today.